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  • 5 Dec 2022 2:44 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    65% say they are already living paycheck-to-paycheck

    A Harris Poll paints a troubling picture about America’s health care workers. The majority of those surveyed said stress about their personal financial situation has had a negative impact on their sleep (64%), mental health (59%), self-esteem (56%), physical health (53%), and relationships at home (53%). [Medical Economics] 

    More than half of health care workers (52%) are feeling less confident about their personal financial situation compared to a year ago, and 79% are at least somewhat worried that economy changes will have a negative effect on their personal financial situation in the next six months. The situation is already grim, with 65% saying their household lives paycheck-to-paycheck and 48% expect to need a short-term loan in the next six months.

    The biggest worries for the majority of health care workers are paying for groceries (58%), rent/mortgage (57%), gas for a car (56%), and utility bills (53%).

    The survey found that a majority of health care workers (71%) say their employer cares about their mental and physical health and the same proportion say their employer gives them the flexibility they need to manage their personal life during work hours.

    Despite the financial challenges, health care workers are interested in even more flexibility. The majority (58%) said they would be willing to reduce their paycheck for more flexible working hours. Nearly three-quarters (73%) say it is important to them that their employer provides tools and resources to help them manage financial stress.

    Full article here>


  • 2 Dec 2022 11:12 AM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    Join us for an update on the DCFS Youth Placement Crisis in Illinois. Find out the hurdles involving the next steps for youth in Illinois. Changes are needed to improve the system, and support them move forward with their lives and wellbeing. Be aware of the current Illinois problem and join us to solve the solution.

    The program and event are for all leaders who are working to achieve health equity for all. New to this issue? Attend and find out how you can be involved and be part of the solution. Open to all. More details and to register here>

    Raul Garza, MBA, President of the Institute of Medicine of Chicago (Billings Fellow); and President and CEO of Aunt Martha's Health and Wellness will present issues involving this important issue. President Garza will be joined by: 

    • Dr. Matthew Davis, MD,MAPP, Chair of Dept. of  Medicine, Head of the Division of Advanced General Pediatrics and Primary Care, and Executive Vice President and Chief Community Health Transformation Officer, Patrick M. Magoon Institute for Healthy Communities, Lurie Children’s; Professor of Pediatrics and Preventive Medicine, Northwestern University-Feinberg School of Medicine, and Fellow, Institute of Medicine of Chicago.
    • Marc D. SmithLCSW, Director of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, and
    • Dana Weiner, PhD, a Senior Policy Fellow, Chapin Hall and the Director of Governor J.B. Pritzker’s Children’s Behavioral Health Transformation Initiative.

    Donations are welcome for the Achieving Health Equity Fund! Be confident your donation is going to help achieve health equity initiatives. IOMC is a 107th year old organization with a solid history of making a difference.

    Donate on the event pageDecember 15, 2022 - More details here and to Register here>


  • 1 Dec 2022 11:26 AM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    Vermont has the most accessible mental healthcare services, according to a report by Mental Health America. See the 39-page report. [Becker's Behavioral Health]

    The 2023 "State of Mental Health in America" report gathered data from health screenings from populations in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., through 2020 to assess aspects of mental healthcare in America. The report was released in October 2022. 

    The report ranked the accessibility of mental health services in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., by considering metrics including the quality and cost of insurance in the area, access to treatment and special education, and the availability of mental health providers. 

    Here are the 10 states with the most readily available mental healthcare, starting with the state with the most accessible care. 


    1. Vermont
    2. Massachusetts
    3. Illinois
    4. Montana
    5. Washington, D.C. 
    6. Pennsylvania 
    7. New Hampshire
    8. Connecticut
    9. Wisconsin
    10. Rhode Island

    Check out IOMC's virtual program on Mental Health from earlier this year here.


  • 30 Nov 2022 5:38 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    Two Illinois agencies are set to receive more than$142 million over five years to strengthen their public health workforce and infrastructure, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Tuesday. [Health News Illinois]

    The Illinois Department of Public Health is projected to receive about $106.4 million. The Chicago Department of Public Health is projected to receive about $35.6 million.

    The dollars are part of $3.2 billion being allocated by the CDC to states, cities, counties and territories to strengthen their public health infrastructure and recruit, retain and train their workforce, including epidemiologists, contact tracers, laboratory scientists, community health workers and data analysts.

    About $3 billion of the funds come from the American Rescue Plan Act.

    “This grant gives these agencies critical funding and flexibility to build and reinforce the nation’s public health workforce and infrastructure, and protect the populations they serve,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a statement. “We are meeting them where they are and trusting them to know what works best for their communities.”

    IDPH and CDPH did not return requests for comment.

    The state's two Democratic senators praised the funding in a joint statement, saying it will help Illinois' public health infrastructure coming out of the pandemic.

     "This infusion of American Rescue Plan support will further help the Illinois and Chicago Departments of Public Health address Illinoisans’ current medical needs, and help protect folks’ health in the time ahead," said Sen. Tammy Duckworth.


  • 29 Nov 2022 5:43 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    Thrive Exchange is a “four-corner approach” to revitalizing the 79th Street corridor just two blocks from the lake. The project includes apartments, condos, retail spaces and a primary care health center. Chicago Family Health Center is one of six finalists for the Pritzker Traubert Foundation $10 million Chicago Prize 2022. [Sun-Times]

    The Ringer Bank Building was once a hub of South Side business operations for businessman Charles Ringer.

    But after a stint as a car dealership, the 1928 building sat vacant for years on the corner of 79th Street and Exchange Avenue in South Shore.

    Chicago Family Health Center and DL3 Realty now want to breathe life back into the three-story building as part of a revitalization effort for the area through Thrive Exchange, officials said.

    The project, which includes a health care center, apartments and retail, is one of six finalists for the Pritzker Traubert Foundation’s $10 million Chicago Prize 2022.

    The prize is part of a $30 million commitment from the foundation to increase development over the next three years on the South and West sides. The winner of the Chicago Prize will be announced in December.

    The Thrive Exchange project would bring an affordable health care center to the 20,000-square-foot Ringer building.

    Near the building, two apartment buildings with 76 units and 24 condos with affordable price tags also would be part of the $100 million project. Apartments would rent at 60% of the median area income. There also would be 16,000 square feet of space for retail use.

    About 450 jobs are expected to be created.


  • 28 Nov 2022 5:31 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) hosted an educational session on how federal policymakers can promote health and advance equity by supporting access to safe, stable, and affordable housing. 

    Check out video here> 


  • 23 Nov 2022 9:38 AM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

      Health care costs averaged over $10,000 per person in 2020, but the exact amount varied by state. We compared all 50 states and the District of Columbia across 11 key metrics using data from the Kaiser Family Foundation to determine which states are most and least expensive for health care.

       Illinois ranked 21 with a score of  53.94 out of 100. The average health care cost per person is $9,601.00. 

      Key Takeaways

      • South Dakota topped the list of states with the most expensive health care, while Michigan is the cheapest.
      • Forbes Advisor’s analysis found that the eastern part of the country is where you may find the most expensive health care costs. Five of the 10 most expensive states for medical care are in the east, including West Virginia, Florida, Maine, Delaware and New Hampshire.
      • The western part of the country has many of the cheapest states for health care, including Washington, Nevada, Hawaii, New Mexico and Oregon.
      • 44% of Americans consider a medical bill of under $1,000 to be unaffordable.
      • In an effort to reduce costs in the past 12 months, 27% of survey respondents have delayed a doctor’s visit, 19% have delayed a medical procedure, and 19% have avoided a prescription refill.

      Full article here> 


    • 22 Nov 2022 10:01 AM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

      Public Health Not Corporate Health

      On June 23, 2022, the US Supreme Court ruled in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association (NYSPRA) v. Bruen that the New York State law requiring individuals to show proper cause to obtain a license to carry a concealed firearm in public places for purposes of self-defense was unconstitutional (https://bit.ly/3DBV4vF). The significance of this ruling from political and public health perspectives cannot be underestimated. [AJPH December 2022]  Download paper here

      Against the backdrop of growing political partisanship among US legislators and in the US Supreme Court, the persistent lobbying by gun rights groups and the gun industry to loosen gun regulations and promote gun sales, as evidenced by the NYSPRA ruling, exemplifies how commercial determinants undermine health and well-being. The commercial interests of the gun lobby and the gun industry that limit research and drive laws and practices to sustain the availability and presence of guns in the United States cause immediate and horrific public health harms—mass shootings, mass murders, homicides, suicides, and unintentional gun-related injuries and deaths. The physical and emotional costs of gun-related injuries and deaths to survivors, their friends, and families are staggering. An evaluation funded by Everytown for Gun Safety concluded that gun violence costs Americans $557 billion annually—the bulk of which is attributed to quality-of-life costs for victims and their families ($489.1 billion) and medical costs ($2.8 billion) (https://bit.ly/3Ubhw4N).

      Full paper here> 


    • 21 Nov 2022 4:42 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

      What you need to Know- Updated today  |

      What to know if you had a positive test vs. no symptoms. 

      If you recently had COVID-19, you may consider delaying your next vaccine dose (primary dose or booster) by 3 months from when your symptoms started or, if you had no symptoms, when you first received a positive test.

      • Updated (bivalent) boosters became available on:
        • September 2, 2022, for people 12 years of age and older
        • October 12, 2022, for people aged 5–11
      • CDC recommends everyone stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines for their age group:
      • Getting a COVID-19 vaccine after you recover from COVID-19 infection provides added protection against COVID-19.
      • People who are moderately or severely immunocompromised have different recommendations for COVID-19 vaccines.
      • COVID-19 vaccine and booster recommendations may be updated as CDC continues to monitor the latest COVID-19 data

      More info here> 


    • 18 Nov 2022 9:20 AM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

      The Children's Hospital Association and American Academy of Pediatrics are calling on federal officials to declare a national and public health emergency to free up resources and give hospitals more flexibility to respond to an "alarming surge of pediatric hospitalizations" from respiratory syncytial virus and flu. [Becker's Hospital Review]

      In a Nov. 14 letter sent to President Joe Biden and HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, the pediatric groups said the confluence of capacity issues from respiratory viruses and ongoing children's mental health needs "requires nimbleness and flexibility that can only be provided through a presidential declaration of an emergency under the Stafford Act or National Emergencies Act and a public health emergency declaration."

      Such declarations would allow a waiver of certain Medicare, Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program requirements, according to the groups. For example, waivers may alleviate hospitals from Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act requirements "that may impede transferring patients and creating off-site triage to manage capacity challenges."

      Full article here>


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